More than 4,000 people were confirmed killed by the typhoon that ravaged parts of the Philippines almost two weeks ago, the country’s disaster relief agency said on Wednesday.
The death toll now stands at 4,011 with 1,602 registered as missing since the storm swept the eastern central part of the country on November 8, injuring another 18,000, the agency said.
UN aid workers have reached nearly 2 million of the 2.5 million in urgent need of food, according to the body’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
It was not clear whether the remaining 500,000 had received aid from other sources.
Basic emergency needs were now being addressed, said Daniel Toole, regional director for East Asia and Pacific for UNICEF.
The food aid that has been pledged is enough for six months, but more was needed, he said, adding that interest from the foreign community had started to wane.
The Philippines’ rice crop was also hit by the storm, bringing the year’s forecast production from 18.9 million tons down to 18 million tons, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report published late Tuesday in Rome.
Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons on record, damaged the main 2013 rice crop being harvested, and disrupted planting for the 2013-2014 secondary season, it said.
Overall, the country was on track to produce similar levels of rice to 2012, but locally some parts could face a crisis, it said.
“If we want to avoid entire regions of the country having to rely on food aid, we need to act now to help vulnerable families to plant or replant by late December,” said Dominique Burgeon, director of the FAO’s Emergency and Rehabilitation Division.